PRESS RELEASE - 19th April 2017
From Lee Rayment, Director of Blue Funnel Ferries Ltd, and Blue Funnel Cruises Ltd.
I am very pleased to announce that Blue Funnel Ferries Ltd have completed the takeover of the Hythe- Southampton Ferry service. This has taken longer than anticipated and involved lengthy negotiations. Our Solicitors have worked hard to complete the exchange of some very complicated aspects of this change of ownership. All matters are now complete and I can confirm that Blue Funnel will assume full control and operation of the service on Friday 21st April 2017.
This will secure the immediate future of this important transport link and begin process of change which will provide a real opportunity for the service to flourish once again.
I am very pleased to confirm that the staff who have demonstrated their commitment and support over the recent period of uncertainty are being transferred to the new company providing security for their employment.
Our first task is to restore a reliable service however this will involve taking the existing vessel Great Expectations out of service for an annual refit. This will involve the usual maintenance and the detailed inspections of the vessel, including shafts and propellers as stipulated by the MCA, ( Maritime & Coastguard Agency ), but also involve a change of colours and name (although the new name has not yet been confirmed). We also plan further improvements to the boat including heating for the winter and upgrading the seats. These will be planned and implemented in due course.
Due to the urgency of the works required to Great Expectations we will be organising this as soon as possible and during this period we will be providing a temporary boat. Whilst this is less than ideal it is important to ensure that the works are completed without delay, we therefore ask for your patience and support in the short term.
We recognise the necessity to have a second vessel available in order to provide a reliable continuous operation and we have therefore secured a boat that we intend to use to assist on the route. This boat is currently undergoing its own refit work before being brought into service.
Once we have completed these first steps and have the main vessel back in service we will announce changes to the timetable and fares which we believe will prove popular and demonstrate commitment to our customers.
Our objective is to make this historic ferry service a modern reliable and cost effective operation which offers a real alternative to using your car, as well as providing a unique and enjoyable means to travel to and from Southampton
An integral part of the ferry is the pier and train, they are intrinsically linked and I recognise the important history and heritage associated with each. Throughout the period of negotiations to purchase the business I have maintained contact with the HPHA (Hythe Pier Heritage Association). This group with the support of the whole community have demonstrated a real passion and commitment for the pier, the train and the ferry. I look forward to holding detailed discussions with them to explore opportunities to work together and secure the long term future of the pier, the train and associated buildings.
Blue Funnel Ferries look forward to this new venture and a new chapter for the Hythe Ferry and we very much hope you will support the service and help us create a better future. We look forward to seeing old and new customers on the ferry in the near future and for many years to come.
Managing Director, Blue Funnel Cruises Ltd
To view the statement of the persons nominated for election as a County Councillor for the Dibden and Hythe Division, please click on the link below:
Date of Election: Thursday 4th May 2017
Hythe and Dibden Parish Councillors have listened to the local community who have asked for the much appreciated uniformed officers to be back patrolling the streets and open spaces of Hythe and Dibden. Councillors have chosen to begin contract discussions for the provision of 2 additional Police Community Support Officers who will be able to access reports of crime and anti-social behaviour and who have increased powers to tackle persistent anti-social behaviour issues.
A contract will now be investigated with the Police and Crime Commissioner and when agreements are in place the new service will be up and running as soon as possible.
Cllr McLean, Chairman of the Council says "We are working to provide this much respected service as soon as possible and I look forward to seeing the uniformed officers on the street and out and about in the community helping people.
The Council is also committed to its support for providing youth workers in Hythe and Dibden and I am delighted with the proposed Police and Communities Together meeting that can hear directly from the community and can work in partnership to reduce the reported issues of nuisance and anti-social behaviour".
Further details on the proposals can be found on page 36 of the recent Council agenda which is on the Parish Councils website and can be accessed by clicking on the link.
Hythe & Dibden Annual Parish Meeting
The Hythe & Dibden Annual Parish Meeting took place in the Parish Hall on Weds 15th March. The meeting opened with a presentation by Sgt Alison Jones and PC Ali Cross giving a presentation on the Hythe & Dibden Prevention and Neighbourhoods Team. The differing roles of a PCSO’s and Police Officers were explained. A comparison of crime figures for the same 90 day period last year in each of the Parish Wards showed an overall decrease in crime and anti-social behaviour. Sgt Jones stated that Hythe and Waterside had considerably lower crime rates than most other areas of the New Forest.
Graham Parkes then went on to give a presentation on the Neighbourhood Plan explaining the process and the progress so far.
Chairman Cllr Maureen McLean presented shields and gift vouchers to the winners of the Community Spirit and Community Endeavour Award
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD WINNER
PETER KING - For his commitment, dedication and determination in the setting up of the Hythe Pier Action Group for the preservation of Hythe’s historic pier.
(presentation of certificate)
AMANDA BROOMFIELD – for her committed dedication towards the vibrancy and sustainability of the village centre.
PHIL GITTINGS – For his dedication and pride as a retained fire fighter and giving over and above in his role for over 28 years.
DAVE MOORE – For helping everyone in the community; juggling a busy home life with his special needs work and Hythe and Dibden Football Club.
MIKE & DONNA OSMAN – For establishing SO45 online which has been involved in fund raising for many local charities.
YOUNG PERSON’S ENDEAVOUR AWARD WINNER
DANIEL NUTLAND – For being conscientious and hardworking at school in spite of a learning barrier, for being a carer for his Mum and for doing a considerable amount of voluntary work at Hythe Youth Club.